Many a technology project has gone off the rails before they ever get any momentum due to a lack of clarity of what you’re trying to achieve. There are simply too many choices, too many sources of information in 2019. Having a clear set of objectives helps immediately to narrow these choices and focuses the decision-making process. When I say “Documented Objectives”, I mean write them down – not just think about them and keep them to yourself. Share these objectives with your team, get feedback and ask everyone – “Why are we doing this?” Incorporate your teams’ input to the objectives and get them to buy-in to the process.
Nothing can be more beneficial to your company more than understanding how your customer interacts and experiences your services. There is no greater impact to the success (or failure) of implementing technology than how it will impact the customer experience. Knowing when customer service opportunities and gaps exist in the current mode of operation should have a big impact on where spend your time and money.
On a side note, diagraming the interactions of your customers across all channels should be a must-do regardless of the technology implications.
Business Process Documents/Diagrams
Knowing how the work happens in your business is vital to the impact technology will have – good and bad. Documenting the process & information flows and the interactions between departments narrows your options. Just as important is cataloging the technology currently is place and how its being used. This exercise will help identify duplicate steps, islands of data and opportunities for improvement. If you don’t have this documentation readily available (or is out of date), get on it!
So you want to sign up for that free trial?! I mean why not, with the fancy video and all those great features, it just has to help my business – right? I’ll say it now – you should absolutely give that a test drive! Just one thing first. What do you need it to do and how are you going to evaluate it?
Ensure you at least have a short list of functions you need from the software and understand how it will support your business. Take your list of criteria and lay it beside the objectives you wrote down. Now draw lines between the criteria and objectives.
Perfect – give that new software a try but keep your evaluation criteria close.
So you have a good handle on why you’re going down the digital path and what you need. You’ve just increased the chance of success significantly. You’re also well ahead of your competition.
Hopefully throughout this exercise you’ve brought others in to the mix through conversation and discovery. Unless you’re running a solo business, your staff may be the biggest influence on the overall success of your digital business strategy. Engaging other leaders and staff in the business will not only help you get a more complete picture of how the business operates, it gets people engaged in the process. When they are engaged, the chance of adoption and success skyrockets!
You’ll notice that all 5 of these digital business strategy checklist items have nothing to do with new technology.
Starting with the business needs and goals first will help you make informed decisions. If you’re curious to know where this all fits in the master plan, head on over and fill in the blanks.